It's been a grim month for the Fiorentina faithful, but now everything is looking rosy and smelling like fresh-baked focaccia, because the club is (once again) closing in on its first reinforcement this season. This time, Violanews, citing the Gazzetta, claims promising young goalkeeper Luigi Sepe, who impressed for Empoli last season while on loan from Napoli, is just a few contractual wrinkles away. Despite Maurizio Sarri's best efforts, Napoli opted to stick with veteran Pepe Reina, rendering the youngster superfluous.
With gaping holes at both fullback spots, in the center midfield, and on the wings, fans could be forgiven for wondering why the club is bringing in a goalkeeper on a year-long loan for an €800,000 fee; it remains unclear if Fiorentina will be allowed to make the loan permanent, though Napoli seem to view him as a long-term option in goal. Whether this is supposed to Italianize the squad; bring in competition for Ciprian Tatarusanu; or shock everyone by having Sepe play rightback, midfield, and left wing simultaneously, thus addressing all current personnel issues, remains to be seen. The deal is expected to be finalized shortly.
In fairness, the 24-year-old former Italian youth international could turn out to be a real bargain. As Empoli's number one last year, he was a major factor in their surprising mid-table finish, marshaling an unheralded and unexpectedly stingy defense. Sepe's willingness to step out of his own area and his reliability in possession show him to be an excellent sweeper keeper, which is particularly useful for a team that plans to defend with a high line. While this may be reading too much into the signing of a back-up goalkeeper, it seems that Sousa's plan could be to stay compact, press high, and break quickly. Now it's just a matter of bringing players who can do that. Or players who do other stuff. Really, any players would be great.